Earlier today in a press statement attributable to the Spokeswoman of the Department, Victoria Nuland, the U.S. Department of State announced that “the DPRK has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities. The DPRK has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities.”
CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth welcomed the step: “I welcome that the DPRK has agreed to a moratorium on nuclear tests. This is the right step in the right direction. My sincere hope is that this step will lead to the later signature and ratification by North Korea of the Test-Ban Treaty. And that it will lead to the early entry into force of the Treaty, together with the remaining seven ratifications.”
North Korea was last state ever that conducted nuclear tests. The monitoring system of the CTBTO successfully detected and notified the international community on the two North Korean nuclear tests in October 2006 and May 2009.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK interviewed CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth and aired a video report on the moratorium on nuclear testing announced by North Korea. Watch here.
The story of DPRK’s announcement instantly received broad coverage by international media. See here how KCNA, Associated Press, AFP, Aljazeera, BBC, CNN, Reuters, Xinhua, RIA Novosti, EFE, New York Times, Korea Herald, Yonhap, Mainichi Daily News, Der Spiegel, USA Today, Voice of America, Russia Today, Zeenews covered the story.
The DPRK is one of the eight States whose ratification is still needed for the CTBT to become global law. The DPRK, India and Pakistan have not signed the Treaty yet. China, Egypt, Iran, Israel and the United States have signed the Treaty but their ratification is still pending.
The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, in outer space, underwater and underground. 182 countries have signed the Treaty, of which 157 have also ratified it. An unprecedented global verification regime with over 300 sensors monitors the globe around the clock for nuclear explosions to detect any violations of the Treaty.